A roundup of domestic and international news.
EU Council - On Tuesday morning, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković presented the priorities of the rotating Council presidency for the next six months. The programme of the Croatian presidency focuses on four main priorities: a Europe that is developing, a Europe that connects, a Europe that protects, and an influential Europe. The topics the Croatian presidency will deal with include Brexit and the EU's long-term budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027. Croatia joined the EU in 2013 and will hold the presidency of the Council for the first time. The country took over this duty from Finland on 1 January and will hand it over to Germany on 1 July.
Meeting - Romania’s main objectives in the field of defense in the context of the Strategic Partnership with the US were discussed on Tuesday in Bucharest by Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu and Marillyn A. Hewson, head of Lockheed Martin Corporation dealing in military products and services. Aurescu highlighted the fact that Romania and the US have a partnership with a big potential for development and said he maintains the commitment to allot 2% of the country’s GDP to defense. In turn, Mariillyn Hewson spoke in favour of developing joint projects in the field of defense industry and research, with an emphasis on new technologies such as artificial intelligence. The American guest also met with Defense Minister, Nicolae Ciuca.
Law – The Romanian President Klaus Iohannis on Tuesday promulgated the law on doubling child allowances provided by the state. The amount of a child allowance is almost 63 Euros and 125 Euros for children with disabilities. The Romanian Chamber of Deputies adopted on December 18 the respective bill. PM Ludovic Orban announced on January 10 that the government would postpone the coming into force of the law on doubling child allowances until it found the necessary financial resources. He pointed out that most probably the money will be allocated on the occasion of July’s budget adjustment.
Parliament – The Romanian Parliament is determined to contribute, according to its constitutional prerogatives, to creating an adequate environment for business and investments, by increasing the predictability and transparency of fiscal legislation and by ensuring a stable and transparent legislative framework, that should benefit the national economy and the investors. The statement was made by the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Marcel Ciolacu who met in Bucharest with the US ambassador to Romania Adrian Zuckerman. The latter has said the US is and will be Romania’s best friend in the region and will provide the necessary support for deepening the strategic partnership both at military level and at the level of economy and the rule of law, shows a communiqué of the Chamber of Deputies.
Inflation – The annual inflation rate in Romania rose to 4% in December 2019 from 3.8% in November 2019, in the context in which the price of food and non-food products as well as of services increased, according to data published on Tuesday by the National Institute of Statistics. The National Bank of Romania revised downward the inflation rate forecast for the year 2019 to 3.8% from 4.2% and estimates an inflation rate of 3.1% at the end of 2020.
Strasbourg – The European Parliament debated on Tuesday in Strasbourg a resolution on the way in which the governments of the UK and the EU will manage citizens’ rights after Brexit. The resolution, which is to be voted in the plenum on Wednesday, approaches a wide range of issues which both the European citizens residing in Britain and the British citizens residing in the EU might face after Brexit. Also, the resolution draws attention to the fact that the Brexit deal includes fair and balanced provisions meant to protect the citizens’ rights during and after the transition period. In the same session the MEPs debated alongside the European Commission the funding of the European Green Deal and the transition to climate neutrality.
Tennis – The Romanian Simona Halep, world’s no.4 tennis player, on Tuesday defeated 6-4, 7-5 the Australian Ajla Tomljanovic (52 WTA) and qualified to the quarter finals of the Adelaide tournament in Australia. In the quarter finals, the Romanian will play against Arina Sabalenka of Belarus and the American Bernarda Pera. This was Halep’s first singles match in 2020. In Adelaide she also played in the doubles alongside Romanian Raluca Olaru but the two lost to the pair Demi Schuurs (the Netherlands) / Kveta Peschke (the Czech Republic). (Translated by Elena Enache)